Education is the fault of the teacher

We received this blurb in our daily bulletin. It’s from an opinion piece disagreeing with another teacher who said that too many students are being pushed into AP courses when really that type of work may be too hard for the student.

 Columnist: The average student can handle AP work
Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews rejects the view of high school teacher and Post contributor Patrick Welsh who wrote in a USA Today Op-Ed that too many average students are being pushed into AP courses, where they find themselves over their heads. Through data analysis and a chat with the AP coordinator from a school near Welsh’s that enjoys higher exam participation and better passing rates, Mathews concludes that children can do AP work if they’re properly supported.   The Washington Post ( ) (free registration)(9/26) ( )

And I’m interested in this stuff because as a school (as others seem to be doing) we are moving toward encouraging more students to take the AP route.

The only real reason why students won’t succeed in an AP course (for the average student) is because the teacher wasn’t good enough…or wasn’t PROFESSIONAL enough…or, and this is my favorite, they didn’t believe that all students can do well on the AP exam.

What was ever so bad that educators have a realistic view on some topics. For some reason if a teacher talks reality, suddenly they don’t believe in their students. Even more worse, as in the case of this “rebuttal,” when educators write or speak, others only want to hear what they want to hear. The original Op-Ed piece in the USA today is about the bigger picture of where all of this “push” is coming from and where it’s heading and by golly, just trying to be honest about the system. (And I won’t insert a subtle comment here about who’s getting all of this money, either).

Take a moment and read the opinion piece and also the USA Today piece (be sure to read the reader comments also…you get the feeling that some folk are patting themselves on the back without acknowledge that the writer is a pretty good educator himself).

Until then, make your mark heavy and dark.

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